Apple, Samsung and other tech gloves will need to consult the emergency services before adding functions to automatically make calls to numbers 911 or 112. The decision was made by EENA, an organization representing more than 1,500 emergency services in more than 80 countries.
According to EENA, although some features such as fall detection on Apple Watch and Auto-call for the iPhone SOS have good intentions and have been useful to many people in the past, they can also rate the lives of others.
The organization explained that more and more fake calls came from technological devices that could automatically call emergency services in the event of a problem. With relief efforts in such situations, people who really need help are likely to wait longer, to the point that it makes their lives worse.
The big problem with these features, explains EENA, is that technology companies do not consult emergency services before launching these new features. This can be a serious problem: wasteful resources for false alerts, while other users who expect to receive help will never receive it.
The idea is to allow the emergency services to evaluate which devices to accept for automatic calls, possibly with the possibility of processing the data before launching the assistance.
Call centers have sometimes received automatic messages (sometimes even in a foreign language) from applications that alerted them to users in difficulty. As the emergency services had no preliminary information on this new product or the way in which the messages would be transmitted, no protocol had been defined.
This situation could significantly affect the credibility of a company and its products, as well as the safety of its users.
The EENA invites technology companies to contact the organization to ensure that these features are implemented to save lives and not to put anyone in difficulty. Apple has always responded to the demands of the EENA and should do the same in this case too.